Ketamine Treatment Study for OCD

Pediatric Anxiety & Mood Research Clinic (PAMRC)

Ketamine Treatment Study for Teens & Young Adults with OCD

Research Program Overview

This pilot research study aims to determine whether treatment with a medication called ketamine can rapidly reduce obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms in adolescents and young adults. By participating in our OCD treatment and research program, your child will receive:
  • A full diagnostic evaluation
  • Psychiatric care throughout the duration of the study
  • Three months of treatment for OCD

Why Ketamine for Treating OCD?

  • The two front-line treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) medications and cognitive behavoiral therapy (CBT), but these sufficiently treat only 40–60% of young people with OCD.
  • Research shows that a brain chemical called glutamate has been linked to OCD.
  • Ketamine is an approved anesthetic medication that can change glutamate levels, and possibly cause a rapid decrease in OCD symptoms.

Who Is Eligible to Participate?

Participants must:

  • Be between 14 and 22 years old
  • Be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Have already tried at least one SRI medication or clomipramine and a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) (unless unable to access or tolerate) with little or no change in OCD symptoms

Study Procedures

  • Screening over 1–2 visits to determine if your child is eligible, including a free, thorough diagnostic evaluation.
  • A one-time, low dose of intravenous ketamine.
  • Daily phone check-ins and 3 in-person visits for 2 weeks after the ketamine infusion.
  • Three months of treatment for OCD, including medication and/or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) at no cost.


Study testing, medication, and evaluations will be provided at no cost to you. In addition, you and your child will receive compensation of up to $225 for participating in the study.


Interested in Learning More?

Contact us!

Kelsey Hill
Phone: 646-774-5793